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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16. Goblin Squad Member. 208 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 aka Banesfinger

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What appeared to be the object of your desire, suddenly comes to life as it lashes out at you with its tentacles.

Deep Desire CR 5XP 1,600
N Medium aberration (shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses all-round vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11

----- Defense -----
AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +6
Defensive Abilities amorphous, chameleon; Immune critical hits, precision damage

----- Offense -----
Speed 5 ft., Climb 5 ft.
Melee slam +10 (1d8+6 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (slam, 1d8+6)

----- Statistics -----
Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 20 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Climb +14, Disguise +10 (+30 if using mimic desire), Perception +11, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers +20 Disguise (if using mimic desire)
Languages Undercommon
SQ detect desires, mimic desire

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (3-6)
Treasure standard

----- Special Abilities -----
Detect Desire (Sp) This creature constantly probes for surface thoughts, hoping to find a victim’s deepest desire. This is similar to a Detect Thoughts spell but with a range of 120 feet, and creatures who succeed on their DC 16 Will save, avoid having their desires detected. This is a Constitution-based, divination, mind-affecting ability.
Mimic Desire (Sp) After successfully detecting desire in a victim, this monster can assume the form of that desire. This can be an object or a creature of Medium size or smaller, such as gems, food or a desired mate. The Deep Desire cannot substantially alter its size, but can alter part of its body to look like the surrounding cavern floor or wall, with the remainder of its body looking like the adjacent smaller, desired object or creature. Using the thoughts from the victim, it can even mimic the form’s sounds, smells, and behaviours. The Deep Desire gains +20 racial bonus on Disguise checks to imitate this object or creature. Disguise is always a class skill for a Deep Desire.
Chameleon (Ex) The Deep Desire also uses its shapechanging ability to avoid powerful creatures or those with no mental desires (e.g., undead). It can take on the color and texture of nearby objects, including cavern floors and walls. It receives a +10 enhancement on Stealth while in this form.

This subterranean creature is an ambush hunter, using its prey’s deepest desire to lure it close enough to launch a surprise attack. Most of the time it assumes the form of edible mushrooms or morsels of food for the pale beetles that often scurry along Nar-Voth’s caverns. Occasionally it will encounter derro and mimic a patch of cytillesh/brain mold. Or it will shapechange into a vein of precious metals or gems for wandering duergar. Surface dwellers who have wandered this deep into the Nar-Voth often have more desperate desires; encountering a shapechanged ancient portal to the surface, or a kindly dwarven map maker. Those with more noble pursuits often find wounded maidens, or long-lost relatives.

Deep Desires are highly sought after by the drow. They often send patrols into the Nar-Voth with the sole purpose of capturing Deep Desires. Their abilities are prized by drow interrogators, who domesticate and train them. Finding out what your enemy desires the most, is an invaluable tool (especially other drow Houses). The cruel drow also enjoy the ironic humor of watching their captives getting devoured by their greatest desires.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 aka Banesfinger

Escape from the Fleshfairs of Okeno

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 aka Banesfinger

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Breach Barrier
Aura faint abjuration; CL 3rd
Slot Shield; Price 2,170 gp; Weight 15 lbs.
This +1 Heavy Steel Shield is often stylized by its dwarven crafters to look like an door or archway. On command once per day, the wielder may press this shield against a portal, securing it as per the effects of the hold portal spell. For the next 1 minute duration, the shield will remain adhered to the portal, after which the shield comes free. Before the end of the duration, the wielder may separate the shield from the portal, automatically ending the effect. Or use 1 move action to remove the shield from their arm, thus leaving the shield attached to the portal for the remainder of the duration.
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Hold Portal; Cost 1,170 gp

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

I have a few questions on the Way of the Wicked: book 2 (call forth darkness):

#1) How was it intended that the 7th knot (White Ravens) notify/message the PCs when they warn them of trouble? Physically walk to the horn? It is too far (16 miles?) for most message spells...

#2) Are the two Greater Ceustodaemons (3-13) vulnerable to the usual ways to banish them to their home plane? (E.g. the two moon dogs in Event three: with their "Bay" ability to Dispel Evil or Dismissal). What (if any) effects does the silver seal contribute to this? The True Name amulets?

#3) The moon dogs (mentioned above) have their Plane Shift ability hampered by the silver seal. However, can't they just use their Dispel Magic (Spell-like ability) which forces them back to their plane of origin?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Is there any guidance for a group that fails during the assault of Balentyne? (E.g. received 20 or less Victory Points, or was 'Repulsed' twice with 21-30 VP).
~page 51 of book-1

Tiadora's speech on page 77 really only applies if the group was successful. Likewise in Book-2, Thorn's speech on page 7 also reflects a successful outcome.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

In Way of the Wicked, book 1 (knot of thorns), I have several questions about the map of Fortress of Balentyne (page 60):

I assume there must be some kind of slope or elevation change, because the map for level-1 has the (main) fortress clearly at the basement level (since level-2 has the main gate [22] and the courtyard [27-30]).
BUT on the level-1 gatehouse side of the river [areas 19-21] are clearly at ground level.

The elevation problem (above) presents some problem for the horses:
Sending out patrols on the West side of the river seems normal; go directly out of the stables [30], through the courtyard and out the gate [22]. Fine.
The problem comes when you want to ride a patrol out to the East side of the river. There is no direct route from the stables [22] to the bridge [18] and the east gate [19a]. A horse and rider would have to go out of the fortress [via 22], cut back around to the servant's entrance [18a], through the basement hallway [8] and then out through the bridge...

Drawbridge [18a]
Which way does this bridge swing up? Since it is controlled from the gatehouse [25] I assume it would swing up and become 'flush' with the gatehouse.
But if an invading army were to approach from that side, it would make more sense to swing up towards the bridge [18]...perhaps to some scaffolding and pully system above?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Kimandatsu (Thorborg Silverskorr) escaped the final battle of Night of Frozen Shadows.

This battle took almost 3 hours of real time, but in the end Kimandatsu was forced to flee because of a 1st-level spell:

The wizard cast Grease spells on each of her weapons (first Oathtaker, then her bow). With her low REF, she failed the initial REF saves thus she would have to make additional saves for the next few minutes just to pick her weapons back up...
(The grease spell ignores her SR)

So I had her go invisible and into gaseous form and escape.

Question: how/when would she mount a revenge attack (especially after realizing her Rimerunners Guild cover has been blown and all her Frozen Shadow allies have been killed)?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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A question for other DMs:

In Brinewall Legacy, how did you approach the party with Zaiobe (harpy oracle)?

Because my players will probably attack this NPC on-sight: she is a 'monster' after-all, and in a castle filled with enemies, AND if any PCs recognize her as a harpy they won't want to give her a chance to use her 'captivating song' attack (they don't know she's a mute).

I know it says (pg 42) "...adopts as nonthreatening a stance as she can..." Ok, let's assume my PCs don't blow-her-away in round 1...

So it says she "...tries to convince one of the PCs to let her touch him..." Ummm, sure, because all of my PCs allow monsters to get a free 'touch attack' [/sarcasm].

So...how did all the other (much more skilled) DMs get this encounter to happen (because the role-play follow up has such great potential)?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

After reading Tito Leati's excellent CotCT manuscript info (scroll down to the bottom of the 1st page):

Has anyone tried to use the Contract Devil from Academy of Secrets (Chyvvom) to be the same Contact Devil from Tito's manuscript (Bithonag)?

This could make an excellent tie point between the two plots!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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My group never wants to give up their gear. So when the Emperor's mob told them to surrender their weapons, the PCs killed them. After 3d6 minutes, they killed the next 2-mob group. Finally, the 4-mob group didn't ask for their weapons and escorted them to the Emperor.

In order to talk to Scream they were told to play Blood Pig - but couldn't use their weapons/spells during the game - they refused.

It did not help the situation that I place the reoccurring villain Rolth as Pilts' advisor (as recommended by another thread). My PCs hold a grudge.

So the group tried using the Intimidate skill to threaten Pilts into handing over Rolth and/or letting them talk to Scream.

Here's the problem:
(More with the Pathfinder rules than the encounter)

Intimidate DC is only 19: 10 + 10 (Pilts HD) -1 (Pilts Wis mod).
This is a pretty easy DC to hit (especially for the half-orc barbarian at +14). The group 'nailed' this roll. They rolled a 28, so even if I threw in misc mods for killing Pilts' mobs, they still succeed.

I double-checked and none of Pilts's bardic abilities help him (glibness, counter-song only works against magic effects, Well-Versed only works for saves, etc).

Was it really that easy?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

In Edge of Anarchy my group had built a good relationship with Field Marshal Cressidia Kroft. So each time they get new information about the plauge (in 7 days to the Grave) they want to report to her.

What actions/reaction would she do upon hearing their findings? For example, when they uncover the identity of the physicians/doctor after exploring the sunken ship Direption.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

My group entered the warrens and after several encounters/rooms wants to re-group and rest (regain spells).

Several Derro escaped down the crawlspace tunnels.

I'm assuming the group will be back in 24 hours. What kind of preparations would the Derro make?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

I have a small group (3) that just started this Adventure Path.
They were very excited about starting a "city" campaign, so they built all their PCs to be sneaky (rogues, urban rangers, etc).

At the Old Fishery, they waited until dark, "borrowed" a row boat and cased the lower area. They snuck in and attacked Lamm by surprise.

At All the World's Meats, they also waited until dark and cased the shop (recording guard schedules, etc). Through a lucky gather information check, they found out how to approach the Cow Hammer Boys for a "job". They gave them extra gold to "silence" someone (evilly, they sent the cow hammer boys after a now-dead Lamm).

That night, while the 4 renegade guards left to do the 'job', they snuck in to the shop, and found Verik by surprize, easily defeating him in close combat.

- Yes, this group got lucky on several rolls (Disable Device to get past the shop's locks, Stealth rolls, etc). But their tactics are very sound.

Do I reward this smart play? E.g. give them XP for the renegade guards they 'sent away'.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Because of the outdoor focus of Kingmaker, a large percentage of the encounters are limited to 1/day. Especially the exploration portion of the adventure path.

Thus, my group "blows" all their resources (biggest spells, etc) against the encounter, knowing they can sleep right after. This is collectively known as the D&D 15 minute work day. And while it is prevalent in most adventures, it is really noticeable in Kingmaker.

Have others run into this same problem?

Sure, I can keep throwing in 'extra' random encounters, but that isn't a tactic I prefer (DM against the players vibe). Have other DM's beefed-up the encounters to counter this tactic?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

How do mounts (horses) affect exploration rates listed in Stolen Lands (page 57)?

I am tempted to substitute the mounts movement rate (50 feet) for the party speed (this would reduce the exploration rates to 1 day for any terrain). But there several reasons I am hesitant to do so:

A) PCs will generally get horses right from the start (gaining the 6 horses from Happs and his bandits). If that was the intent, why even bother with the charts - just "say" 1 day to explore any hex...?

B) While mounts would be an obvious advantage for plains & hills, I'm not sure if you could explore a swamp or mountains or even a forest any faster on horse-back?

C) Mounts already offer a huge advantage on travel time (time to cross an explored hex), which I am not disputing. And my players have used them to run away from several day/non-camp random encounters - so they have a tactical edge as well (on top of any mounted combat feats).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

My players are reaching the southern hexes (near the Stag Lord's Fort), and I have several questions:

#1) Since the fort is beyond the 60 mile (5 hex) 'exploration' charter, how will PCs know how to get there?
(They killed all the bandits at area K and did not question them, thinking that WAS the big bandit camp).

#2) Once they do find the fort...
How should I handle this tactic (my players used it at area K and I fully expect them to use it here as well):

They spot the fort and observe from a place of hiding - waiting for days to spot bandits going from/to the fort. Once they know the bandit's routine (e.g. leaving to raid, coming back to re-supply, etc), they will keep attacking the bandits as they leave/return to the fort (perhaps a mile or so from the fort). They hope to slowly kill-off all their reinforcements.

The other hope is that the bandits 'catch-on' to their tactics and come out of the fort to attack back. Now the bandits lose the fort's defensive advantage. (And provided enough time, the PCs may set-up traps of their own...).

I don't want to punish this kind of strategic thinking - I just want to get advice on how the bandits would react to it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Our group has played in other 'empire building' rpgs (Pendragon, Runequest empires, etc).

Running Kingdoms in games like these slowly becomes a lession in accounting: keeping track of budgets, serf's happyness, tracking resources, etc.
Initially, this stuff is pretty fun, but after awhile it really starts to bog-down play. Players tend to focus more on how to keep serfs fed or how to pay for the next farm instead of the main story.

How much effort/time will the 'kingdom tracking' need in Kingmaker? Is it abstract and streamlined?